No Mormons died on the Titanic


titanicThe story usually goes that some Church leader (usually the England Mission President) warned all members not to take passage on the Titanic and because of this warning, no members died on that fateful trip. Although it is true that some members were lucky enough to avoid boarding the doomed ship, it is not true that no members died.

Irene Colvin Corbett is a known member and Titanic victim. Irene was married to Walter Corbett and had three children. She had traveled to London in the winter of 1911-1912 to study nursing while her children stayed with her parents.

Irene’s parents received a letter from her on April 15th in which she said she would take passage on the Titanic. She said several Mormon missionaries were taking passage on the ship. Irene Corbett boarded the Titanic in Southampton.

After the sinking, Bishop Colvin telegraphed New York to find out what had happened to his daughter. He received in answer a telegram: “New York, April 19, Levi Colvin, Provo, Utah. Now find name of Mrs Irene C. Corbett is on the list of passengers having sailed from Southampton, but regret is not a survivor on Carpathia. WHITE STAR LINE.”

Irene Corbett was one of 14 second class women who perished in the sinking.

The Mormon missionaries that Irene reassured her family would be on the boat ended up not boarding the Titanic. Elder Alma Sonne was one of the missionaries that had plans to return to the U.S. on the Titanic. Held up else where, he got word to his fellow missionaries to go ahead without him. They did not want to do that, however, so they waited for Elder Sonne to join them and passed up the opportunity of sailing on the maiden voyage of the most luxurious ship of its time. Elder Sonne, who became a general authority in the LDS Church, spoke and wrote of this “near miss” several times.

Salt Lake Tribune, 17 April 1912, p. 1, 20 April 1912, p. 3

Ogden Standard Examiner, 23 May 2004, “A Tale of Titanic Proportions”

No Mormons died on the Titanic

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